Paris - Baghdad route set to fly
Monday 18 October 2010
A private airline in France is to begin the first scheduled service between Paris and Baghdad in 20 years later this month.
The inaugural flight, due to take off on October 30, is set to be the precursor of more regular services, with flights departing twice a week between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Baghdad.
Direct flights haven't operated between the two capital cities since the Gulf War broke out in 1990.
The flights will be operated by Aigle Azur, a private airline which is reported to also be working with Air France to allow the French flag-carrier to sell indirect flights to Iraq.
The announcement is the latest indication that travel to Iraq is again becoming a possibility as violence in the war-torn country ebbs and recovery efforts pick up steam.
Earlier this year, German flag-carrier Lufthansa announced plans to begin routes to Erbil and Baghdad, as did Etihad, which now flies to the Iraqi capital five times a week.
Fellow UAE carrier Emirates launched its service to Baghdad in July 2010, and Iraqi and Indian government officials are reportedly set to meet later this month to discuss broadening air links between the two countries.
To cater for the expansion in air services, authorities in Iraq reportedly plan to double the capacity of Baghdad Airport, as well as considering extra facilities in Basra and Mosul.
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